Diet and Exercise Tips

Dietary Guidelines 2005

Last updated Mar 09, 2009
Dietary Guidelines for Americans logo featuring images of the five food groups and of community excercise
The following key recommendations are adapted from the Dietary Guidelines 2005.  For the full listing, please see:
  • Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol.
  • Meet recommended intakes within energy needs by adopting a balanced eating pattern, such as USDA Food Guide or Dash Eating Plan.
  • Those who need to lose weight: Aim for a slow, steady, weight loss by decreasing calorie intake while maintaining an adequate nutrient intake and increasing physical activity.
  • To sustain weight loss in adulthood: Participate in at least 60 - 90 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity on most days while not exceeding caloric intake requirements.
  • Achieve physical fitness by including cardiovascular conditioning, stretching exercises for flexibility, and resistance exercises or calisthenics for muscle strength and endurance.
  • Those who choose to drink alcoholic beverages should do so sensibly and in moderation - defined as the consumption of up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
For a reference 2,000 calorie intake, consume:
  • 2 cups of fruit per day
  • 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day   
    • Select  from all five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables
  • 3 or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products
  • 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products
  • less than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol 
  • total fat intake between 20 - 35% of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
  • less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day
    • Individuals with hypertension, middle-aged and older adults should aim to consume no more than 1,500 mg of sodium per day    
                                                  * with higher and lower amounts depending on the caloric level

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